Kathmandu, May 29, 2018: The first session of EmpowHER 2018 was held this Saturday, May 26, with this year’s eighteen changemakers. The session started with Yajaswi Rai, the EmpowHER co-lead at Ujyalo Foundation, introducing the organization as well as the EmpowHER, an idea incubation and leadership institute. She explained the theme for this year’s EmpowHER, that is, ‘Young Women Crossing the Line,’ as the program encourages women to break the barriers put by society on them and helps them go outside their comfort zone. The session included many ice-breaking activities and energizers to get the changemakers to be comfortable with each other.
After the explanation of the session responsibilities which included attendance call, social media update and rapporteuring, the core values of EmpowHER 2018 was discussed by Amuda Mishra, the founder and executive director of Ujyalo Foundation. These core values include: Diversity, Compassion and Equity, which will be given priority by the changemakers throughout the program. Mishra then went on to informing the changemakers about some of the ground rules of the program that would help create an enabling environment.
With lunch and energizers, the session moved to discussion about ideas, their importance and the changemakers’ own ideas. The discussion revolved around the 5WH questions about their project ideas, that is, ‘Where’, ‘Who’, ‘Why’, ‘How’, ‘What’, and ‘When.’ The participants answered these questions about their ideas. For instance, Januka KC will be conducting her project idea in a school with the student of Grade 8 to 10, to create awareness among teenagers of psychological disorder and help the people in need by conducting workshops and sharing stories, 6-8 days a month in a school. Sindhu KC, had a different idea of helping women with intellectual disability in Kathmandu, with 10-20 women to help make them independent, flourish their skills and also to break the stereotypes that these women can’t earn their living.
The participants were given an assignment, “To identify the problem of their project that they are trying to resolve.”
The participants then did a few team building tasks to learn the importance of teamwork as well as envisioning their ideas better. Each group created representations of their ideas on a chart using various materials such as straws, sticky notes, markers, play doh among others. They presented their charts and discussed more about their ideas as well. The session ended with a reflection on the day and feedback from the changemakers about the highs and lows of the session as well as an energizer song “Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes.”
Overall, the day was exciting for the organizers and the changemakers. Upcoming session at EmpowHER will be build ons on their ideas and leadership.